2019 Polls: US imposes visa restriction of Nigerian Politicians

The United States on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on some Nigeria politicians for undermining the democratic process in the country during the 2019 general elections.

The US explained that the affected individuals, who were not identified due to rule on privacy, operated with impunity at the expense of Nigerians and undermined democratic principles and human rights.

Those affected include individuals indicted for electoral violence, rigging and other anti-democratic activities before, during and after the 2019 elections.

Morgan Ortagus, the spokesman for the US Department of State, who disclosed this in a statement in Washington explained that the visa restrictions would affect Nigerians believed to be responsible for undermining democracy in Nigeria.

Ortagus noted that the US had earlier warned in its statement on January 24 that the American government would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.

According to the statement: “To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.

“The Department of State emphasises that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.

“This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

The US insisted that it was a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy and commended all those who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen democratic institutions and processes in the country.